“Citizens without Citizenship”

The Bedoons of Kuwait

Kuwait practices a system of institutionalized discrimination against its residents known as Bedoons, longtime inhabitants who have been denied Kuwaiti citizenship and are now being rendered stateless. Barred from employment, denied education for their children, restricted in their movements, and living under the constant threat of arbitrary arrest and deportation, Bedoons are a community of "have nots" in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. At the same time, tens of thousands of Bedoons who fled Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation have been barred from returning to their country. After decades of treating Bedoons as citizens and repeatedly promising to confer formal citizenship on them, the Kuwaiti government reversed its practice and declared them illegal residents of the only country they have ever known. Although the policy was adopted before the Iraqi invasion, it has intensified since the Kuwaiti government was restored to power following the victory of the Desert Storm military campaign.

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